Selecting a Conference

Considerations when selecting a conference are generally practical and include:

  • The quantity and nature of your research findings – how significant are they? How many people will they impact – researchers in your area of specialization? Or is it a more global impact?
  • Your prior experience as a presenter – If you have never presented at a conference before it might be a good idea to get your feet wet by presenting at a local or regional conference where you can practice your presentation, hone your presentation skills, etc. and
  • Financial – generally participants must pay a registration fee to attend and if the conference you want to attend is not local you will need to pay for your travel, lodging, and subsistence. Local conferences tend to be less expensive however they may not provide you the same opportunities as national conferences.

There is no right “time” or “age” at which you should consider participating in a conference. IYou will derive more from the experience of attending a conference if you have work to present, if you are confident in your understanding of your work and are able to effectively orally communicate your work to others. If you are interested in presenting at a conference, your first step should be to discuss your interest in presenting your work with your research advisor. If both of you decide that you do have something vital to contribute then you need to consider some practical issues including which meeting you will attend, what the cost of attending the meeting will be, and whether or not there are any funds available to support your travel to the meeting. In general local or regional conferences are less expensive than national conferences and their location may eliminate travel and lodging.

You don’t have to present at a local meeting before you consider presenting at a national conference though the experience of presenting at a local or regional meeting may help you hone your presentation skills and improve your self-confidence.